tv Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith FOX News November 15, 2019 6:00am-9:00am PST
getting rid of yovanovitch helped set the stage to a channel to pursue the two investigations that mattered so much to the president. the 2016 conspiracy theory and most important an investigation into the 2020 political opponent he apparently feared most, joe biden. and the president's scheme might have worked but for the fact that the man who would succeed ambassador yovanovitch, whom he heard from on wednesday acting ambassador taylor would eventually discover the effort to press ukraine into conducting these investigations
and would push back. but for the fact also that someone blew the whistle. ambassador yovanovitch was serving our nation's interest in fighting corruption in ukraine. but she was considered an obstacle to the further answer of the president's personal and political agenda. for that she was smeared and cast aside. the powers of the presidency are immense. but they are not absolute. and they cannot be used for corrupt purpose. the american people expect their president to use the authority they grant him in the service of the nation, not to destroy others to advance his personal or political interests. i now recognize ranking member nunes for his remarks. >> i thank the gentleman. it is unfortunate that today and for most of next week we
will continue engaging in the democrats' day-long tv spec tackles instead of solving the problems we were all sent to washington to address. we now have a major trade agreement with canada and mexico ready for approval. a deal that would create jobs and boost our economy. meanwhile we have not yet approved funding for the government which expires next week. along with funding for our men and women in uniform. instead the democrats have convened us once again to advance their operation to topple a duly elected president. i'll note that five -- five democrats on this committee had already voted to impeach this president before the trump/zelensky phone call occurred. in fact, democrats have been vowing to oust president tumble since the day he was elected. so americans can rightly suspect his phone call with
president zelensky was used as an excuse for the democrats to fulfill their watergate fantasies. but i'm glad that on wednesday, after the democrats staged six weeks of secret depositions in the basement of the capitol like some kind of strange cult, the american people finally got to see this farce for themselves. they saw us sit through hours of hearsay testimony about conversations that two diplomats who had never spoken to the president heard second hand and third hand and fourth hand from other people. in other words, rumors. the problem of trying to overthrow a president based on this type of evidence is obvious. but that's what their whole case relies on beginning with second and third hand information cited by the whistleblower. that's why on wednesday the
democrats were forced to make the absurd argument that hearsay can be much better evidence than direct evidence. and just when you thought the spectacle couldn't get more bizarre committee republicans received a memo from the democrats threatening et ickx referrals if we out the whistleblower. as the democrats are well aware no republicans here know the whistleblower's identify because the whistleblower only met with democrats, not with republicans. chairman schiff claimed not to know who it is. yet he also vowed to block us from asking questions that could reveal his or her identity. republicans on this committee are left wondering how it's even possible for the chairman to block questions about a person whose identity he claims not to know. the american people may be
seeing these absurdity for the first time. republicans are used to them. until they secretly met with the whistleblower democrats showed little interest for the last three years in any topic aside from the ridiculous conspiracy theories that president trump is a russian agent. when you find yourself on the phone like the democrats did with russian pranksters offering you nude pictures of trump and after you order your staff to follow up and get the photos, as the democrats also did, then it might be time to ask yourself if you've gone out too far on a limb. even as they were accusing republicans of colluding with russians the democrats themselves were colluding with russians but funding the steele dossier based on russian and ukrainian sources. meanwhile, they turn a blind
eye to ukrainian's meddling in our election because the democrats were cooperating. the subject of a july 20, 2017 letter sent by senator grassley to then deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. the letter raised concerns about the activities of alexander chalupa, a contractor for the democratic national committee who worked with ukraine embassy officials to spread dirt on trump campaign. as senator grassley wrote, chalupa's actions appear to show that she was working on behalf of a foreign government, ukraine, and on behalf of the dnc and the clinton campaign. in an effort to influence not only the u.s. voting population, but u.s. government officials. unquote. after touting the steele dossier and defending the f.b.i.'s russia investigation which are now being investigated by inspector
general horowitz and attorney general barr, democrats on this committee ignore ukrainian election meddling even though chalupa admitted to the democrats' scheme. likewise, they are blind to the blaring signs of corruption surrounding hunter biden's well-baid position on the board of a corrupt ukraine company while his father served as vice president and point man for ukraine issues in the obama administration. but the democrats media hacks only cared about that issue briefly when they were trying to stop joe biden from running against hillary clinton in 2015. as i previously stated, these hearings should not be occurring at all until we get the answers to three crucial questions the democrats refuse to ask. first, what is the full extent of the democrats' prior coordination with the whistleblower and who else did the whistleblower coordinate this effort with? second, what is the full extent
of ukraine's election meddling against the trump campaign? and third, why did burisma hire hunter biden, what did he do for them and did his position affect any government actions under the obama administration? i'll note house democrats vowed they would not put the american people through a wrenching impeachment process without bipartisan support. and they have not. add that to their ever growing list of broken promises and destruction deceptions. in closing, mr. chair, the president of the united states released his transcript right before the hearing began. i think it's important that i read this into the record so there is no confusion over this first phone call that occurred on april 21st with president elect zelensky.
i would like to read it. the president, i would like to congratulate you on a job well done and congratulations on a con fast particular election. zelensky, it is nice to hear from you and i appreciate the congratulations. the president, that was an incredible election. zelensky again, thank you so very much. we tried very hard to do our best as you can see. we had you as a great example. the president, i think you will do a great job. i have many friends in ukraine who know you and like you. i have many friends from ukraine and frankly expected you to win. and it is really an amazing thing that you've done. i guess in a way i did something similar. we're making tremendous progress in the u.s. we have the most tremendous economy ever. i just wanted to congratulate you. i have no doubt you will be a
fantastic president. zelensky, first of all, thank you so very much again for the congratulations. we in ukraine are an independent country. we'll do everything for the people. you are, as i said, a great example. we're hoping we can expand on our jobs as you did. you will also be a great example for many. you are a great example for our new managers. i would also like to invite you, if possible, to the inauguration. i know how busy you are but if it's possible for you to come to the inauguration ceremony, that would be great. great for you to do to be with us on that day. the president, that's very nice. i'll look into that and give us a date. at the very minimum we'll have a great representative. or more from the united states will be with you on that great day. so we will have somebody at a minimum a very high level and will be with you, really an incredible day for an
incredible achievement. zelensky, again, thank you. we look forward to the visit of a high-level delegation. no words can describe our wonderful country, how nice, warm and friendly our people are, how tasty and delicious our food is and how wonderful ukraine is. it would be best for you to see it yourself. if you can come, that would be great. so again, i invite you to come. the president, well, i agree with you about your country and i look forward to it. when i owned miss universe they always had great people. ukraine always very well represented. when you are settled in and ready, i would like to invite you to the white house. we'll have a lot of things to talk about. but we're with you all the way. zelensky, thank you for the invitation. we accept the invitation and look forward to the visit. thank you again. the whole team and i are looking forward to the visit. thank you for the congratulations and i think it will still be great if you could come and be with us on
this important day. the results are incredible. they are very impressive for us so it will be absolutely fantastic if you could come on that day. the president, very good. we'll let you know very soon and we'll see you very, very soon regardless. congratulations and please say hello to the ukrainian people and your family. let them know i send my best regards. zelensky, well thank you, you have a safe flight and see you soon. the president, take care of yourself and give a great speech today. you take care of yourself and i'll see you soon. zelensky, thank you very much. it is difficult for me but i will practice english and i will meet in english. thank you very much. the president, laughing. that's beautiful to hear, really good. i could not do it in your language. i'm very impressed. thank you so much. zelensky, thank you so much. the president, good day, good luck. if i was able to read that into the record so now the american
people know the very first call that president trump had with president zelensky. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. >> i have a parliamentary inquiry. >> not recognized. >> i have a point of order under 660. >> state point of order. >> the point of order is will the chairman continue to prohibit witnesses from answering republican questions as you have done in closed hearings and as you did this week when you interrupted our questions? >> not a proper point of order. gentleman will suspend. >> i have a point of order. >> not recognized. >> i have a point of order. >> not recognized. >> i have a point of order. >> gentleman is not recognized. >> there are four gentleman -- >> the gentleman is not recognized. ranking member was allowed to exceed the opening statement and happy to allow him to do so.
i do want to respond to the call record first of all i'm grateful. i would ask the president to release the thousands of other records he has told the state department not to release including ambassador taylor's notes, cable and including george kent's memo, including documents from the office of management and budget why the military aid was withheld. >> i want you to release the four transcripts of depositions. that's my point of order. >> gentleman will suspend. we ask the president to stop obstructing the impeachment inquiry. we're grateful he has released a single document he has nonetheless obstructed witnesses in their testimony and the production of thousands of other records. and finally i would say this, mr. president, i hope you will explain to the country today why it was after this call and while the vice president was making plans to attend the
inauguration you instructed the vice president not to attend zelensky's inauguration. >> mr. chairman, i have a point of order. i have a point of order. >> not recognized. >> we know you are going to interrupt us throughout this hearing. >> not recognized. >> ask for a request. >> the gentleman is not recognized. today we're joined by a master marie yovanovitch born in canada parents who fled the soviet union and nazis. she immigrated to connecticut at three. became an american at 18 and entered the u.s. foreign service in 1986. served as u.s. ambassador three times and been nominated by presidents of both parties. george w. bush nominated her to be ambassador to the kyrgyzstan republic. president obama to armenia where she served from 2008
until 2011. u.s. ambassador to ukraine where she served from 2016 until recalled to washington by president trump this may. beyond these posts she has held numerous other senior positions at the state department including in the bureau of european and eurasian fairs and a dean at the foreign service institutes and taught national security strategy at defense university and previously served at u.s. embassies in kiev, ottawa, moscow on mogadishu. received multiple honors including many awards. two final points before the witness is sworn. first witness depositions as part of this inquiry were unclassified in nature and all open hearings will be held at the unclassified level. any information in classified information will be addressed separately.
second congress will not tolerate any repiesal. threat of reprisal or attempt to retail yat before testifying before congress including you or any of your colleagues. please rise and raise your right hand i'll begin by swearing you in. do you swear or affirm the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you god. let the record show that the witness has answered in the affirmative. thank you and please be seated. without objection your written statement will be made part of the record. with that you are recognized for your opening statement. >> mr. chairman, ranking member nunes, and other members of the committee. >> you will need to speak very close to the microphone. >> thank you for the opportunity to start with this statement to reintroduce myself to the committee and to highlight parts of my biography
and experience. i come before you as an american citizen who has devoted the majority of my life, 33 years, to service to the country that all of us love. like my colleagues, i entered the foreign service understanding that my job was to implement the foreign policy interests of this nation as defined by the president and congress and to do so regardless of which person or party was in power. i had no agenda other than to pursue our stated foreign policy goals. my service is an expression of gratitude for all that this country has given to me and to my family. my late parents did not have the good fortune to come of age in a free society. my father fled the soviets before finding refuge in the united states, my mother's family escaped the ussr after the revolution and grew up
stateless in nazi germany before eventually making her way to the united states. their personal histories, my personal history, gave me both deep gratitude towards the united states and great empathy for others like the ukrainian people who want to be free. i joined the foreign service during the reagan administration and subsequently served three other republican presidents as well as two democratic presidents. it was my great honor to be appointed to serve as an ambassador three times, twice by george w. bush and once by barack obama. there is a perception that diplomats lead a comfortable life throwing dinner parties in fancy homes. let me tell you about some of my reality. it has not always been easy. i have moved 13 times and served in seven different countries, five of them
hardship posts. my first tour was mogadishu, somalia. dangerous place as the civil war was grinding on and the government was weakening. the military took over policing functions in a particular tlarly brutal way and basic services disappeared. several years later, after the soviet union collapsed, i helped open our embassy in kyrgyzstan. as we were establishing relations with a new country our small embassy was attacked by a gunman who sprayed the embassy building with gunfire. i later served in moscow. in 1993 during the attempted coup in russia i was caught in crossfire between presidential and parliamentary forces. it took us three tries me without a helmet or body armor to get into a vehicle to go to the embassy. we went because the ambassador
asked us to come. and we went because it was our duty. from august 2016 until may 2019 i served as the u.s. ambassador to ukraine. during my tenure in ukraine i went to the front line approximately 10 times during a hot war to show the american flag, to hear what was going on, sometimes literally as we heard the impact of artillery and see how our assistance dollars were put to use. i worked to advance u.s. policy fully embraced by democrats and republicans alike to help ukraine become a stable and independent democratic state with a market economy integrated into europe. a secure democratic and free ukraine serves not just the ukrainian people but the american people as well. that's why it was our policy, continues to be our policy, to help the ukrainians achieve
their objectives. they match our objectives. the u.s. is the most powerful country in the history of the world in large part because of our values and our values have made possible the network of alliances and partnerships that but rests our own strength. ukraine with a large population and enormous landmass has the potential to be a significant commercial and political partner for the united states as well as a force multiplier on the security side. we see the potential in ukraine. russia sees by contrast sees the risks. the history is not written yet but ukraine could move out of russia's orbit and now ukraine is a battleground for great power competition with a hot war for the control of territory and a hybrid war to control ukraine's leadership.
the u.s. has provided significant security assistance since the onset of the war against russia in 2014. the trump administration strengthened our policy by approving the provision to ukraine of anti-tank missiles known as javelins. supporting ukraine is the right thing and the smart thing to do. if russia prevails and ukraine falls to russian dominion we can expect to see other attempts by russia to expand its territory and its influence. as critical as the war against russia is, ukraine's struggling democracy has an important challenge, battling the soviet legacy of corruption which has pervaded ukraine's government. corruption makes ukraine's leaders vulnerable to russia and the ukrainian people understand that. that's why they launched the revolution in dignity in 2014
demanding the transformation of the system and being a part of europe. demanding to live under the rule of law. ukrainians wanted the law to apply equally to all people whether the individual in question is the president or any other citizen. it was a question of fairness, of dignity. here again there is a coincidence of interests. corrupt leaders are inherently less trustworthy and honest leadership makes the u.s./ukrainian partnership for reliable and valuable to the united states. a level playing field in the strategically located country bordering four nato allies creates an environment in which u.s. business can more easily trade, invest and profit. corruption is also a security issue because corrupt officials are vulnerable to moscow. in short, it is an america's national security interest to help ukraine transform into a country where the rule of law
governs and corruption is held in check. it was and remains a top u.s. priority to help ukraine fight corruption and significant progress has been made since the 2014 revolution of dignity. unfortunately as the past couple months have underlined, not all ukrainians embraced our anti-corruption work. it was not surprising that when our anti-corruption efforts got in the way of a desire for profit or power, ukrainians who preferred to play by the old corrupt rules sought to remove me. what continues to amaze me is that they found americans willing to partner with them and working together they apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a u.s. ambassador. how could our system fail like this? how is it that foreign corrupt interests can manipulate our government? which country's interests are served when the very corrupt
behavior we've been criticizing is allowed to prevail? such conduct undermines the u.s., exposes our friends, and widens the playing field for ought congratulations like president putin. our leadership depends on the power of our example and the consistency of our purpose. both have now been opened to question. with that background in mind, i would like to briefly address some of the factual issues i expect you may want to ask me about starting with my timeline in ukraine and the events about which i do and do not have firsthand knowledge. i arrived in ukraine on august 22, 2016 and left ukraine permanently on may 20th, 2019. there are a number of events you are investigating to which i cannot bring any firsthand knowledge. the events that pre-dated by ukraine service include the
release of the so-called black ledger and mr. manafort's subsequent resignation from president trump's campaign and the departure from office of former prosecutor general vikter shokin. other events were president trump's july 25th, 2019 call with president zelensky, the discussions surrounding that phone call and any discussion surrounding the delay of security assistance to ukraine in the summer of 2019. events during my tenure in ukraine. i want to reiterate first that the allegation that i disseminated a do not prosecute list was a fabrication. mr. lutsenko, the former ukrainian prosecutor general who made that allegation has acknowledged that the list never existed. i did not tell mr. lutsenko or other ukrainian officials who they should or should not
prosecute. instead, i advocated the u.s. position that rule of law should prevail. and ukrainian law enforcement, prosecutors and judges should stop wielding their power selectively as a political weapon against their adversaries and start dealing with all consistently and according to the law. also untrue are unsourced allegations that i told unidentified embassy employees or ukrainian officials that president trump's orders should be ignored because he was going to be impeached or for any other reason. i did not and i would not say such a thing. such statements would be inconsistent with my training as a foreign service officer and my role as an ambassador. the obama administration did not ask me to help the clinton campaign or harm the trump campaign. nor would i have taken any such steps if they had.
partisanship of this type is not compatible with the role of a career foreign service officer. i have never met hunter biden, nor have i had any direct or any direct conversations with him. and although i have met former vice president biden several times over the course of our many years in government service, neither he nor the previous administration ever raised the issue of either burisma or hunter biden with me. with respect to mayor giuliani, i have had only minimal contact with him a total of three. none related to the events at issue. i do not understand mr. giuliani's motives for attacking me nor can i offer an opinion on whether he believed the allegations he spread about me. clearly no one at the state department did. what i can say is that mr. giuliani should have known those claims were suspect coming as they reportedly did
from individuals with questionable motives and with reason to believe that their political and financial ambitions would be stymied by our anti-corruption policy in ukraine. after being asked by the undersecretary of state for political affairs in early march 2019 to extend my tour until 2020, the smear campaign against me entered a new public phase in the united states. in the wake of the negative press, state department officials suggested an earlier departure and we agreed upon july 2019. i was then abruptly told just weeks later in late april to come back to washington from ukraine on the next plane. at the time i departed ukraine had just concluded game changing presidential elections. it was a sensitive period with much at stake for the united states. and called for all the experience and expertise we could muster. when i returned to the united
states, the deputy -- that the president had been pushing for my removal since the prior summer. as mr. sullivan recently recounted during his senate confirmation hearing, neither he nor anyone else ever explained or sought to justify the president's concerns or justify my early departure by suggesting i had done something wrong. i appreciate that mr. sullivan publicly affirmed at his hearing that i had served capably and admirably. though then and now i have always understood i served at the pleasure of the president, i still find it difficult to comprehend that foreign and private interests were able to undermine us us interests in this way. individuals who apparently felt
stymied by our efforts to promote stated u.s. policy against corruption, that is to do our mission, were able to successfully conduct a campaign of disinformation against a sitting ambassador using unofficial back channels. as various witnesses have recounted they shared baseless allegations with the president and convinced him to remove his ambassador despite the fact that the state department fully understood the allegations were false and the sources highly suspect. these events should concern everyone in this room. ambassadors are the symbol of the united states abroad. they are the personal representative of the president. they should always act and speak with full authority to advocate for u.s. policies. if our chief representative is knee capped it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the united states. this is especially important now when the international
landscape is more complicated and more competitive than it has been since the dissolution of the soviet union. our ukraine policy has been thrown into disarray and shady interests the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an american ambassador who doesn't give them what they want. after these events what foreign official, corrupt or not, could be blamed for wondering whether the u.s. ambassador represents the president's views? and what u.s. ambassador could be blamed for harboring the fear they can't count on our government to support them as they implement stated u.s. policy and protect and defend u.s. interests? i would like to comment on one other matter before taking your questions. at the closed deposition i expressed grave concerns about the degradation of the foreign
service over the past few years and the failure of state department leadership to push back as foreign and corrupt interests apparently hijacked our ukraine policy. i remain disappointed that the department's leadership and others have declined to acknowledge that the attacks against me and others are dangerously wrong. this is about far, far more than me or a couple of individuals. as foreign service professionals are being undermined the institution is also being degraded. it will soon cause real harm if it hasn't already. the state department as a tool of foreign policy often doesn't get the same kind of attention or even respect as the military might of the pentagon but we are, as they say, the pointy end of the spear. if we lose our edge, the u.s. will inevitably have to use other tools, even more than it does today. and those other tools are blunter, more expensive, and
not universally effective. moreover, the attacks are leading to a crisis in the state department as the policy process is visibly unraveling. leadership vacancies go unfilled and senior and mid-level officers ponder an uncertain future. the crisis has moved from the impact on individuals to an impact on the institution itself. the state department is being hollowed out from within at a competitive and complex time on the world stage. this is not a time to undercut our diplomats. it is the responsibility of the department's leaders to stand up for the institution and the individuals who make that institution still today the most effective diplomatic force in the world. in congress, they have a responsibility to reinvest in our diplomacy. that's an investment in our national security. an investment in our future. in our children's future. as i close, let me be clear on
who we are and how we serve this country. we are professionals, we are public servants who by vocation and training pursue the policies of the president regardless of who holds that office or what party they affiliate with. we handle american citizen services, facilitate trade and commerce, work security issues, represent the u.s. and report to and advise washington to mention just some of our functions and we make a difference every day. we are people who repeatedly uproot our lives and risk and sometimes give our lives for this country. we are the 52 americans who 40 years ago this month began 444 days of deprivation, torture in captivity in tehran. we're the dozens of americans stationed at our embassy in cuba and conflicts in china who
mysteriously and dangerously and even permanently were injured in attacks from unknown sources several years ago. and we are ambassador chris stevens, sean patrick smith, ty woods and glen dority. people rightly called heroes for their ultimate sacrifice to this nation's foreign policy interests in libya eight years ago. we honor these individuals. they represent each one of you here and every american. these courageous individuals were attacked because they symbolized america. what you need to know, what americans need to know, is that while thankfully most of us answer the call to duty in far less dramatic ways, every foreign service officer runs the same risks and very often so do our families. they serve, too, as individuals, as a community, we answer the call to duty to
advance and protect the interests of the united states. we take our oath seriously. the same oath that each one of you take to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. i count myself lucky to be a foreign service officer. fortunate to serve with the best america has to offer. blessed to serve the american people for the last 33 years. i thank you for your attention and i welcome your questions. >> thank you, ambassador, we count ourselves lucky to have you serve the country as you have for decades. we'll now move to the 45 minute rounds. i recognize myself and majority counsel for 45 minutes. thank you for appearing today. all americans are deeply in your debt. before i hand it over to mr. goldman, our staff counsel i want to ask you about a few
pivotal events of interest to the country. first of all, was fighting corruption in ukraine a key element of u.s. policy and one on which you placed the highest priority? >> yes, it was. >> can you explain why? >> it was important and it was actually stated in our policy and in our strategy. it was important because corruption was undermining the integrity of the government's system in ukraine and as i noted in my statement, countries that have leaders that are honest and trustworthy make better partners for us. countries where there is a level playing field for our u.s. business makes it easier for our companies to do business there, to trade and to profit in those countries.
and what had been happening since the soviet union, this is a soviet legacy, is that corrupt interests were undermining not only the government but also the economy of ukraine. we see enormous potential in ukraine and would like to have a more capable, more trustworthy partner there. >> i know this may be awkward for you to answer since it's a question about yourself and your reputation but is it fair to say that you earned a reputation for being a champion of anti-corruption efforts in ukraine? >> yes, yes. >> i don't know if you had a chance to watch george kent's testimony yesterday but would you agree with his rather frank assessment that if you fight corruption you'll piss off some corrupt people? frnlts >> yes. >> in your efforts to advance u.s. policy interests did you anger some of the corrupt leaders in ukraine? >> yes. >> was one of those corrupt
people prosecutor general yuri lutsenko >> i believe so. >> was another named vikter shokin? >> apparently so although i've never met him. >> at some point did you come to learn that both lutsenko and shokin were in touch with rudy giuliani president trump's lawyer and representative? >> yes. >> in fact, the giuliani try to overturn a decision you participated in to deny shokin a visa. >> yes, that's what i was told. >> that denial was based on mr. shokin's corruption? >> yes, that's true. >> and was it mr. lutsenko among others who coordinated with mr. giuliani to peddle false accusations against you as well as the bidens? >> yes, that's my understanding. >> and were these smears amplified by the president's son, donald trump junior as well as certain hosts on fox?
>> yes. that is the case. >> in the face of this smear campaign did colleagues at the state department try to get a statement of support for you from secretary pompeo? >> yes. >> were they successful? >> no. >> did you come to learn that they couldn't issue such a statement because they feared it would be undercut by the president? >> yes. >> and then were you told that though you had done nothing wrong you did not enjoy the confident of the president and could no longer serve as ambassador? >> yes, that is correct. >> and in fact you flew home from kiev on the same day as the inauguration of ukraine's new president? >> that's true. >> that inauguration was attended by three who have become known as the sondland, volker and perry was it? >> yes. >> three days after that inauguration in a meeting with president trump, are you aware that the president designated these three amigos to
coordinate ukraine policy with rudy giuliani? >> since then i've become aware of that. >> sgl* this is the same rudy giuliani who orchestrated the smear campaign against you? >> yes. >> and the same rudy giuliani who during the now infamous july 25th phone call the president recommended to zelensky in the context of the two investigations the president wanted into the 2016 election and the bidens? >> yes. >> and finally, ambassador, in that july 25th phone call, the president praises one of these corrupt former ukrainian prosecutors and says they were treated very unfairly. they were treated unfairly. not you, who was smeared and recalled, but one of them. what message does that send to your colleagues in the u.s. embassy in kiev? >> i'm just not sure what the basis for that kind of a statement would be.
certainly not from our reporting over the years. >> did you have concern, though, or do you have concern today about what message the president's action sends to the people who are still in ukraine representing the united states when a well-respected ambassador can be smeared out of her post with the participation and acquiescence of the president of the united states? >> well, i think it's been a big hit for morale both at the u.s. embassy kiev but more broadly in the state department. >> is it fair to say that other ambassadors and others have lesser rank who serve the united states in embassies around the world might look at this and think if i take on corrupt people in these countries, that could happen to me? >> i think that's a fair statement, yes.
>> mr. goldman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador yovanovitch, on april 24th of this year at approximately 10:00 p.m. you received a telephone call while you were at the embassy in kiev from the director general of the state department. this was just three days after president zelensky's election and the call between president trump and president zelensky that we just heard from ranking member nunes. at the time that this urgent call came in, what were you in the middle of doing? >> i was hosting an event in honor of an anti-corruption activist, was, in ukraine. we had given her the woman of courage award from ukraine and in fact the worldwide woman of
courage event at the worldwide woman of courage event in washington, d.c. secretary pompeo singled her out for her amazing work in ukraine to fight corrupt interests in the south of ukraine. she very tragically died because she was attacked by acid and several months later died a very, very painful death. we thought it was important that justice be done for her and for others who fight corruption in ukraine because this is -- it is not a tabletop exercise there. lives are in the balance. and so we wanted to bring attention to this. we held an event and gave her father, who of course is still mourning her, that award, the woman of courage event. >> her woman of courage award
stem from her anti-corruption efforts in ukraine. >> that's true. >> was it determined who threw the acid and killed her? >> there have been investigations but while some of the lower-ranking individuals that were involved in this have been arrested, those who ordered this have not yet been apprehended. >> after you stepped away from this anti-corruption event to take this call, what did the director general tell you? >> she said there was great concern on the seventh floor for the leadership of the state department. it was great concern, they were worried. she just wanted to give me a heads-up about this and, you know, things seemed to be going on and she wanted to give me a heads-up. hard to know how to react to something like that. i asked her what it was about? what did she think it was about? she didn't know. she said she was going to try to find out more but she had
wanted to give me a heads-up. i think she may have even been instructed to give me a heads-up on that. so i asked her what is the next step here? so she said she would try to find out more and she would try to call me by midnight. >> what happened next? >> around 1:00 in the morning she called me again and she said that there were great concerns. concerns up the street and she said i needed to get -- come home immediately. get on the next plane to the u.s. and i asked her why. and she said she wasn't sure but there were concerns about my security. i asked her my physical security? because sometimes washington knows more than we do about these things and she said no, she hadn't gotten that impression that it was a physical security issue but they were concerned about my security and i needed to come home right away.
i argued. this is extremely irregular and no reason given. but in the end i did get on the next plane home. >> you said there were concerns up the street. what did you understand that to mean? >> the white house. >> did she explain in any more detail what she meant by concerns about your security? >> no, she didn't. i did specifically ask whether this had to do with the mayor giuliani's allegations against me and so forth and she said she didn't know. didn't even appear to me she seemed to be aware of that. no reason was offered. >> did she explain what the urgency was for you to come back on the next flight? >> the only thing that is pertinent to that was that when she said that -- there were
concerns about my security. that's all. it was not further explained. >> now, prior to this abrupt call back to washington, d.c., had you been offered an extension of your post by the state department? >> yes. under secretary for political affairs had asked whether i would extend for another year, departing in july of 2020. >> when was that request made? >> in early march. >> so about a month and a half before this call? >> yes. >> did anyone at the state department ever express concerns about your job performance? >> no. >> now, after you returned to washington a couple days after that, you met with the deputy secretary of state. and at your deposition you said the deputy secretary of state told you you had done nothing wrong but there was a concerted campaign against you. what did he mean by that?
>> i'm not exactly sure. but i took it to mean that the allegations that mayor giuliani and others were putting out there, that that's what it was. >> and who else was involved in this concerted campaign against you? >> there were some members of the press and others in mayor giuliani's circle. >> who from ukraine? >> in ukraine i think well, mr. lutsenko, the prosecutor general, and mr. shokin, his predecessor certainly. >> and at this time mr. lutsenko was the lead prosecutor general, is that right? >> that's correct. >> had president zelensky indicated whether or not he was going to keep him on after the election? >> he had indicated he would not be keeping on mr. lutsenko. >> i believe you testified earlier that mr. lutsenko had a reputation for being corrupt,
is that right? >> that's correct. >> now during this conversation did the deputy secretary tell you about your future as the ambassador to ukraine? >> well, he told me i needed to leave. >> what did he say? >> he said that -- there was a lot of back and forth but ultimately he said the words that every foreign service officer understands, the president has lost confidence in you. that was, you know, a terrible thing to hear. and i said well, i guess i have to go then. but no real reason was offered as to why i had to leave and why it was being done in such a manner. >> do you have any indication that the state department had lost confident in you? >> no >> were you provided any reason why the president lost confidence in you? >> no. >> now, you testified at your deposition that you were told
at some point that secretary pompeo had tried to protect you but that he was no longer able to do that. were you aware of these efforts to protect you? >> no, i was not, until that meeting with deputy secretary sullivan. >> and were you -- did you understand who he was trying to protect you from? >> well, my understanding was that the president had wanted me to leave and there was some discussion about that over the prior months. >> did you have any understanding why secretary pompeo was no longer able to protect you? >> no. it was just a statement made that he was no longer able to protect me. >> so just like that you had to leave ukraine as soon as possible? >> yes. >> how did that make you feel? >> terrible honestly. i mean, after 33 years of
service to our country it was terrible. it is not the way i wanted my career to end. >> now you also told the deputy secretary that this was a dangerous precedent. what did you mean by that? >> i was worried about our policy but also personnel that -- i asked him how -- how are you going to explain this to people in the state department, the press, the public, ukrainians? because everybody is watching. and so if people see somebody who -- of course, it had been very public, the frankly the attacks on me by mayor giuliani and others and mr. lutsenko in ukraine, if people see that i,
who have been, you know, promoting our policies on anti-corruption, if they can undermine me and get me pulled out of ukraine, what does that mean for our policy? do we still have that same policy? how do we put that forward, number one. number two, when other countries, other actors in other countries see that private interests, foreign interests can come together and get a u.s. ambassador removed, what is going to stop them from doing that in the future in other countries? often the work we do we try to be diplomatic about it but as deputy assistant secretary george kent said sometimes we get people really angry with us. uncomfortable. and we are doing our jobs, but sometimes people become very angry with us. and if they realize they can
just remove us they are going to do that. >> how did the deputy secretary respond? >> he said those were good questions and he would get back to me. >> did he ever get back to you? >> he asked to see me the following day. >> what did he say to you then? >> he really the conversation was more -- you know, again i'm grateful for this but really more to see how i was doing and, you know, what would i do next kind of -- how could he help? >> but he didn't address the dangerous precedent you flagged for him? >> no. >> now, you understood, of course, that the president of the united states could remove you and that you served at the pleasure of the president, is that right? >> that's right. >> but in your 33 years as a foreign service officer, have you ever heard of a president of the united states recalling
another ambassador without cause based on allegation thaes the state department itself knew to be false? >> no. >> now you testified in your opening statement that you had left ukraine by the time of the july 25th call between president trump and president zelensky. when was the first time that you saw the call record for this phone call? >> when it was released publicly at the end of the september i believe. >> and prior to reading that call record, were you a aware that president trump had specifically made reference to you in that call? >> no. >> what was your reaction to learning that? >> i was shocked. absolutely shocked and devastated frankly. >> what do you mean by devastated? >> i was shocked and devastated
that i would feature in a phone call between two heads of state in such a manner where president trump said that i was bad news to another world leader and that i would be going through some things. so i was -- it was a terrible moment. a person who saw me actually reading the transcript said that the color drained from my face. i think i even had a physical reaction. i think -- even now words confound me. >> without upsetting you too much i would like to show you the excerpts from the call and the first one where president trump says the former ambassador from the united states, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the ukraine were bad news. so i just want to let you know.
what was your reaction when you heard the president of the united states refer to you as bad news? >> i couldn't believe it. again, shocked, appalled, devastated that the president of the united states would talk about any ambassador like that to a foreign head of state. and it was me. i mean, i couldn't believe it. >> the next excerpt when the president references you was a short one but he said well, she is going to go through some things. what did you think when president trump told president zelensky and you read that you were going to go through some things? >> i didn't know what to think but i was very concerned. >> what were you concerned about? >> she is going to go through some things. it didn't sound good.
it sounded like a threat. >> did you feel threatened? >> i did. >> how so? >> i didn't know exactly. it is not a very precise phrase but i think -- it didn't feel like i was -- i really don't know how to answer the question any further except to say it kind of felt like a vague threat and so i wondered what that meant. it concerned me. >> now, in this same call where the president as you just said threatens you to a foreign leader, he also praises, rather, the corrupt ukrainian prosecutor who led the false smear campaign against you.
i want to show you another excerpt or two from the transcript or the call record, rather, where the president of the united states says good, because i heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. a lot of people are talking about that. the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. he went on later to say i heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor. so good luck with everything. now ambassador yovanovitch, after nearly three years in ukraine where you tried to clean up the prosecutor general's office was it the u.s. embassy's view that the former prosecutor general was a very good and a very fair prosecutor? >> no, it was not. >> in fact, he was rather corrupt, is that right?
>> that was our belief. >> the prosecutor general's office is a long-running problem in ukraine, is that right? >> yes. >> so how did you feel when you heard president trump speak so highly of the corrupt ukrainian prosecutor who helped to execute the smear campaign to have you removed? >> well, it was disappointing. it was concerning. it wasn't certainly based on anything that the state department would have reported or frankly anybody else in the u.s. government. there was an interagency consensus that while -- when mr. lutsenko came into office they were very hopeful that he would actually do the things that he said he would set out to do, including reforming the prosecutor general's office, but that did not materialize. >> so this was not the uniform position of the official u.s.
policymakers, is that right? >> right. >> now let's go back to the smear campaign that you referenced and in march when you said it became public. you previously testified that you had learned that rudy giuliani, president trump's lawyer and representative who was also mentioned in that july 25th call was in regular communication with the corrupt prosecutor general in late 2018 and early 2019. and at one point in your deposition you said that they -- that being giuliani and the corrupt foreign prosecutor general had plans to, quote, do things to me. what did you mean by that? >> i didn't really know but that's what i had been told by ukrainian official. >> did you subsequently understand a little bit more what that meant? >> well now with the advantage of hindsight i think it meant
removing me from my job in ukraine. >> who did you understand to be working with mr. giuliani as his associates in ukraine? >> well, certainly mr. lutsenko, mr. shokin. i believe that there were also ukrainian americans, mr. freeman and another who have been indicted. >> the two who have been indicted in new york. >> the southern district of new york. >> now at the end of march this effort by giuliani and his associates resulted in a series of articles in the hill publication that were based on allegations in part from lutsenko, the corrupt prosecutor general, and just to summarize some of these allegations there were among others three different categories. one category included the attacks against you, which you
referenced in your opening statement including that you had badmouthed the president and had given the prosecutor general a do not prosecute list. there was another that included allegations of ukrainian interference in the 2016 election, and then there was a third that related to allegations concerning burisma and the bidens. is that accurate? >> yeah, yes. >> were these articles and allegations then promoted by others associated with the president in the united states? >> they seemed to be promoted by those around mayor giuliani. >> i'm going to show you a couple of exhibits including a tweet here by president trump himself on march 20th which was the first day that one of these articles was published. it appears to be a quote that
says john solomon the author of the article as russia collusion fades ukrainian plot to help clinton @ sean hannity at fox news. another tweet four days later. the president's son, donald trump junior who tweets we need more @ richard grenell and less of these jokers as ambassadors and it is a retweet of one of john solomon's articles or an article referencing the articles that says calls grow to remove obama's u.s. ambassador to ukraine. were you aware of these tweets at the time? >> yes. >> what was your reaction? >> i was worried. >> what were you worried about? >> that this didn't seem -- these attacks were, you know,
being repeated by the president himself and his son. >> were you aware whether they received attention on prime time television on fox news as well? >> yes, i did. >> now, was the allegation that you were badmouthing president trump true? >> no. >> was the allegation that you had created a do not prosecute list to give to the prosecutor general in ukraine true? >> no. >> in fact, didn't the corrupt prosecutor general himself later recant those allegations? >> yes. >> now, when these articles were first published did the state department issue a response? >> as you said, there was a series of articles so after the first article, which was an interview with mr. lutsenko and was only really about me and made certain allegations about me, the state department came
out the following day with a very strong statement saying that these allegations were fabrications. >> so the statement addressed the falsity of the allegations themselves? >> yes. >> it didn't say anything about your job performance in any way? >> honestly i haven't looked at it in a very long time. i think it was generally probably laud tory, i can't recall. >> did anyone in the state department raise concerns with you or express any belief in these allegations? >> no. people thought it was ridiculous. >> now, after these false allegations were made against you, did you have any discussions with anyone in leadership in the state department about a potential statement of support from the department or the secretary himself? >> yes. after the tweet that you just
showed us, it seemed to me that if the president's son is saying things like this that it would be very hard to continue in my position and have authority in ukraine unless the state department came out pretty strongly behind me. and so, you know, over the weekend of like march 22nd i think is about the date, there was a lot of discussion on email among a number of people about what could be done. and undersecretary for political affairs called me on sunday and i said you know, it's really important that the secretary himself come out and be supportive because otherwise it's hard for me to be the kind of representative you need here. and he said he would talk to the secretary. that was -- that's my recollection of the call.
that may not be exactly how it played out but that was my recollection. >> this is david hale, the number three person at the state department? >> yes. >> did he indicate to you he agreed with a statement of support for you? >> i think he must have. i don't think he would have gone to the secretary if he didn't support it. you wouldn't bring a bad idea to the secretary of state. >> your general understanding is that you did have a full support of the state department, is that right? >> yes. >> and in fact during your 33 year career as a foreign service officer did you ever hear of any serious concerns about your job performance? >> no. >> was the statement of support ultimately issued for you? >> no, it was not. >> did you learn why not? >> yeah. yes. i was told that there was a
concern on the seventh floor that if a statement of support was issued, whether by the state department or by the secretary personally, that it could be undermined. >> how could it be undermined? >> that the president might issue a tweet contradicting that or something to that effect. >> so let me see if i got this right. you were one of the most senior diplomats in the state department. you've been there for 33 years. you had won numerous awards. you had been appointed as an ambassador three times by both republican and democratic presidents. and the state department would not issue a statement in support of you against false allegations because they were concerned about a tweet from the president of the united states? >> that's my understanding.
>> if i could follow up on that question. ambassador yovanovitch, as we sit here testifying the president is attacking you on twitter and i would like to give you a chance to respond. i'll read part of one of his tweets. everywhere marie yovanovitch went turned bad. she started off in somalia. how did that go? he goes on to say later in the tweet u.s. president's absolute right to appoint ambassadors. first of all, ambassador yovanovitch, the senate has a chance to confirm or deny an ambassador, do they not? >> yes, advise and consent. >> would you like to respond to the president's attack that everywhere you went turned bad? >> well, i mean i don't think i have such powers not in somalia and other places. i actually think that where
i've served over the years i and others have demonstrably made things better for the u.s. as well as for the countries that i've served in. ukraine, for example, where there are huge challenges including, you know, on the issue we're discussing today of corruption. huge challenges. but they've made a lot of progress since 2014 including in the years that i was there. i think in part ukrainian people get the most credit for that. but a part of that credit goes to the work of the united states and to me as the ambassador in ukraine. >> ambassador, you have shown the courage to come forward today and testify. notwithstanding the fact you were urged by the white house or state department not to.
notwithstanding the fact that as you testified earlier, the president implicitly threatened you in that call record. and now the president in realtime is attacking you. what effect do you think that has on other witnesses' willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing? >> well, it's very intimidating. >> designed to intimidate, is it not? >> i can't speak to what the president is trying to do but i think the effect is to be intimidating. >> well, i want to let you know ambassador that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously. mr. goldman. >> ambassador yovanovitch, you indicated that those same articles in march that included
the smear campaign also included allegations related to ukraine's interference in the 2016 election and the burisma/biden connection, is that right? >> yes. >> so i'm going to end my questioning where we were before which was the july 25th call. president trump not only insults you and praises the corrupt prosecutor general but he also as you know by now references these two investigations. first, immediately after president zelensky thanks president trump for his quote great support in the area of defense, unquote, president trump responds i would like you to do us a favor, though. because our country has been through a lot and ukraine knows a lot about it. i would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with ukraine. they say crowd strike. i guess you have one of your
wealthy people, the server. they say ukraine has it. and then he goes on in that same paragraph to say whatever you can do it is very important that you do it if that's possible. now, ambassador yovanovitch, from your experience as the ambassador in ukraine for almost three years and understanding that president zelensky was not in politics before he ran for president and was a new president on this call, how would you expect president zelensky to interpret a request for a favor? >> the u.s. relationship for ukraine is the single most important relationship and so i think that president zelensky, any president would do what they could to lean in on a favor request. i'm not saying that's a yes,
i'm saying they would try to lean in and see what they could do. >> fair to say if the president of ukraine that is so dependent on the united states would do just about anything within his power to please the president of the united states if he could? >> you know, if he could. i'm sure there are limits. and i understand there were a lot of discussions in the ukrainian government about all of this. but yeah, i mean, we are an important relationship on the security side and on the political side. and so the president of ukraine, one of the most important functions that individual has is to make sure that relationship with the u.s. is rock solid. >> now, are you familiar with these allegations of ukrainian interference in the 2016 election? >> i mean, there have been rumors out there about things like that. but, you know, this was nothing hard, at least nothing that i
was aware of. >> nothing based in fact to support these allegations. >> yes. >> and in fact who was responsible for interfering and meddling in the 2016 election? >> the u.s. intelligence community has concluded it was russia. >> are you aware in february of 2017 vladimir putin himself promoted this theory of ukrainian interference in the 2016 election? >> you know, maybe i knew that once and have forgotten. i'm not familiar with it now. >> let me show you a press statement that president putin made in a joint press conference with victor orban of hungary. as we all know the ukrainian
adopted a unilateral position in favor of one candidate, more than that, certain oligarchs certainly with the approval of the political leadership funded this female candidate to be more precise. now, how would this theory of ukraine interference in the 2016 election be in vladimir putin's interest? >> well, i mean president putin must have been aware that there were concerns in the u.s. about russian meddling in the 2016 elections and what the potential was for russian meddling in the future. so, you know, classic for an intelligence officer to try to throw off the scent and create an alternative narrative that might get picked up and give credence. >> that would absolve his own wrongdoing? >> yeah.
>> and when he talks about an oligarch, and he talks about the support of the ukrainian government, there is also a reference in the july 25th call to a wealthy ukrainian. is it your understanding that what vladimir putin is saying here in this press statement in february of 2017 is similar to what president trump says on the july 25th call related to the 2016 election? >> maybe. >> let me show you another exhibit from the call related to the bidens which i'm sure you're fam you're with. the other thing. there is a lot of talk about biden's son that biden stopped the prosecution. a lot of people want to find out about that. so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution. so if you can look into it, it
sounds horrible to me. are you familiar with these allegations related to vice president biden? >> yes. >> do you know whether he ever went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution of anyone? >> no. >> and in fact when vice president biden acted to remove the former corrupt prosecutor in ukraine, did he do so as part of official united states policy? >> official u.s. policy. that was endorsed and was the policy of a number of other international stakeholders. other countries, other monetary institutions, financial institutions. >> and in fact if he helped to remove a corrupt ukrainian prosecutor general, who was not prosecuting enough corruption, that would increase the chances that corrupt companies in
ukraine would be investigated, isn't that right? >> one would think so. >> that could include burisma, right? >> yes. >> at the time of the call vice president biden was the frontrunner for the nomination to president and president trump's potential next opponent in the election. is it your understanding that president trump's request to have vice president biden investigated, was that part of official u.s. policy as you knew it? >> well, i should say that i had at the time of the phone call i had already departed ukraine two months prior. >> you are familiar -- it didn't change in two months, right? >> it certainly would not have been the policy in may when i left. >> were these two investigations part of the anti-corruption platform that you championed in ukraine for three years? >> no.
>> and these investigations, do they appear to you to be to benefit the president's personal and political interests rather than the national interest? >> well, they certainly could. >> now, just returning to the allegations in the hill publication in march that were promoted by mr. giuliani, the president's lawyer, were those two allegations similar to the two allegations that the president wanted president zelensky to investigate? >> yes. >> so ultimately in the july 25th phone call with the ukrainian president, president of the united states endorsed the false allegations against you and the bidens, is that right? >> yes. >> i yield back, mr. chairman. >> i have an inquiry please.
>> gentlemen will suspend. we'll take a brief recess. i would ask everyone to remain to allow the witness to exit the room. and we will resume after votes. >> i have a point -- >> the gentleman can seek recognition after we resume. >> we've been watching rather gripping testimony from marie yovanovitch detailing her time in ukraine. a clear objective here on behalf of the democrats on this committee is to establish a motivation as to why rudy giuliani or the president would want her replaced as ambassador in ukraine. that would give them this administration, more latitude to install their own personnel in kiev or anywhere in the world. there is nothing illegal about that. but is there something behind that that we have yet to hear about that's more insidious and go to the suggestion of some
sort of corrupt nature? that's where we seem to be driving now as we get a vote here in the house. i'm bill hemmer live in new york along with sandra smith. chris wallace, bret baier, martha mccollum, dana perino. to all of you, bret, i'll begin with you. observations what you've heard over the past hour and 20 minutes. >> started this hearing as we set up to it thinking that ambassador yovanovitch was going to be a sympathetic witness, the democrats would tell her story about how she was recalled. but as we noted, that is -- she serves at the pleasure of the president. and i started to say that she didn't see the call. she didn't hear the call. this is tang entional to the actual argument. however, this whole hearing turned on a dime when the president tweeted about her realtime and during the questioning adam schiff stopped
the democratic questioning to read the president's tweet to her and get her response. now that enabled schiff to then characterize that tweet as intimidating the witness or tampering with the witness, which is a crime. adding essentially an article of impeachment realtime as this hearing is going on. that changed this entire dynamic of this first part of this hearing and republicans now are going to have to take the rest of this hearing to probably try to clean that up. >> as of a few moments ago martha, you were watching on when we heard on many occasions the counsel asked the witness how did it make you feel? one of our producers on capitol hill keeping track as of a few moments ago was six times so far and counting. very much you saw the questioner there, the counsel, trying to get her feelings from
her. it was made very clear heading into this that was one of the strategies on the part of democrats. >> clearly she is a somewhat sympathetic character, long-time diplomatic service. she went through the details of her own family history, through the details of her own service, mogadishu, five hardship positions she was in and situations where there was crossfire around her and the difficulty of her job. clearly she was very upset when she started to get wind there were forces that were kind of turning against her or creating a precipitous situation for her for the future of her career. we just have to keep in mind at this stage of the game as we watch through all of the courses of these hearings we have heard her side of the story and we've heard the democrats' counsel try to draw her out as a very sympathetic character. i think in that goal he did well in terms of sort of
building up her credibility and also making it clear she felt that she was sort of being attacked and undermind by rudy giuliani and other forces turning against here what she said was unstub stanchioniateed claim she had put together a do not prosecute list and badmouthed the president. she claims both of those things are not true. there is some suggestions the word list is what is not very accurate here. but that the sentiment behind the idea there were people they didn't want prosecuted may bear out and we'll see what the republican line of questioning does to establish any of that, if it's there. >> what we expect is republicans to go after the campaign of 2016. what role ukraine played in that and also i would expect questions about hunter biden as his involvement on the board of burisma. what did he do and get for it. before it happens chris wallace your analysis on what you have heard thus far. >> i think that if you are not moved and we'll have to wait
and see what happens in the cross examination. if you are not moved by the testimony of marie yovanovitch today, you don't have a pulse. this is a woman who had served in seven posts for presidents of both parties over more than 30 years. hardship posts, places like somalia, and she tells the story of being a leading fighter against corruption in ukraine. and being called out of a meeting to -- that was an event at the u.s. embassy that was to honor an anti-corruption fighter who was later killed because acid was thrown into that woman's face and she is being told by the secretary general at the state department you are going to have to leave and leave on the next plane. and we're worried about your security. not your physical security but obviously our ability to protect you and your reputation and your standing there. and when she gets back she is told by the deputy secretary of
state john sullivan, a man who has just been appointed by president trump to be ambassador to russia that you didn't do anything wrong but we can't protect you anymore because the president is going to attack you. then we went into the details of what the smear campaign that came from rudy giuliani and some of his co-horts and repeated in some outlets in right wing media that she says are completely untrue. that she was badmouthing the president, that she was putting a list of protected people, do not prosecute people. she says none of that is true. perhaps the republicans will have evidence of that. we'll see. so far there has been no such evidence presented. most importantly -- i agree with bret here. the dramatic moment this wasn't just testimony about the past. this played out in realtime with the president attacking her and saying that every place where she served went bad and she was asked by adam schiff do
you see that as an effort to intimidate you and other witnesses. she said i feel it is quite intimidating. it does raise the possibility of witness intimidation and witness tampering as a new charge here. so we'll again have to wait and see what happens when the republicans start to question her but it seems to me that this has been very powerful testimony this morning on the part of marie yovanovitch. >> martha and bret, steve castor the republican attorney. we'll hear from him during the cross examination and here how devin nunes handles this in a moment as well. >> reaction from the white house. john roberts joins us on the other side of the break as they take a break on capitol hill. we'll take a quick moment here and we'll be right back.
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>> what were you concerned about? >> she is going to go through some things. it didn't sound good. it sounded like a threat. >> did you feel threatened? >> i did. >> the second of the public hearings still in break on capitol hill. for now let's go to john roberts chief white house correspondent. brand-new reaction from the statement's personal attorney rudy giuliani. >> this impeachment inquiry is centered around this idea of a quid pro quo which the democrats are morphing into bribery. bribery does appear in the constitution under the process of impeachment. but there is the potential for other articles of impeachment as el. obstruction. adam schiff talked about that. what we may have just seen unfold in realtime there is the potential basis for an article
of impeachment on witness intimidation. i'm not sure that the president's tweet that he sent out while she was on the stand was particularly well-advised when the president said everywhere marine yovanovitch turned bad. she started in somalia. how did that grow? and going to ukraine. this president is stating what he believes goes on here but it gave adam schiff the opportunity to read that and what a bizarre thing just happened. the president and the ambassador were communicating directly with each other through twitter and through a congressional hearing. then when schiff's counsel got in there he started to probe into that and marie yovanovitch saying she is feeling threatened by what the president has been saying about her. now, to the statement from rudy giuliani, who put that out as they went into the break there. he says quote, the information
i obtained about yovanovitch was in the nature of evidence from a number of witnesses, all of them some allies, some opponents, agreed on ambassador yovanovitch's wrongdoing from telling people that trump will be impeached to getting the george soros case and her embassy's partisan involvement in the 2016 election. giuliani is saying there should be an independent investigation of what was going on at the department of state. now the president in his tweet did refer to that july 25th phone call with zelensky. the president brought up yovanovitch and then zelensky said back to the president it was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because i agree with you 100%, her attitude toward me was far from the best as she admired the previous president of ukraine and she was on his side. she would not accept me as a new president well enough. so here we have these competing
narratives. the president of the united states and the president of ukraine agreeing that yovanovitch should be replaced. we have a career foreign service official who has been in many postings in the past, not a political appointee being removed from her post by what she says are false charges. now this idea that she feels like she is being threatened by the president. this was a significant moment, sandra, in this morning's hearings. we'll see where it goes from here. clearly it will be devin nunes's task to try to push back on that narrative that is emerging from the democratic side and then we'll see how jim jordan tackles it when they get into the five-minute questioning by the rest of the members of the committee. >> the break continues. the house is voting. we'll get analysis. job roberts. >> the president felt the ambassador had a bias against him stated before and he believed the ukrainian president agreed with him on that. from the transcript, the
release of the phone call going back to july 25th this is what the ukrainian president said with response to the ambassador. it was great that you were the first one who told me that. she was a bad ambassador because i agree with you 100%. her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous president and she was on his side. she would not accept me as a new president well enough. i would expect to hear some of that from nunes or jim jordan or the attorney on behalf of the republicans when the cross examination begins. to ken starr former independent counsel. fox news contributor. where do you think we are as of now, ken? >> well, i must say that the president was not advised by counsel in deciding to do this tweet. extraordinarily poor judgment. the president frequently says i follow my instincts. sometimes we have to control our instincts. i think this was quite injurious. i don't think it rises to the
level of intimidation of a witness but i think that's the way it will be characterized. i think a very important part of the contrary narrative so we have a very powerful, persuasive witness, but she has one perspective. then we turn as we just did, bill, to the transcript of the presidential phone call, the july 25th phone call and we see the president of the newly elected president saying you put me on to this issue but guess what, i agree and he also is saying not only that she is not going to be supporting of me easy to work with, but i think implicit in this is a very important point. the ambassador, as able as she is, had to work with the prior regime of poroshenko. poroshenko was not the great shall i say champion of anti-corruption or at least wasn't perceived that way by the people of ukraine or he would have been reelected or at
least it wouldn't have been the super landslide that it was. someone who was a complete like donald trump outsider, comedian, business person and so forth. so i think that part of the shall i say geopolitical dynamic within the ukraine is very important as it were as able as she is as a career ambassador, she was tied to the old regime. fairly or unfairly. >> can a strategic break one would suggest for a vote at this point to allow the moments of the past hour or so soak in? >> very timely. absolutely. because the witness did extremely well and then the president exacerbated the situation by his unwise intervention. and let's also make one other point because of the bribery narrative, i don't see it. i would be interested in andy's comments. i don't see today advancing the
bribery narrative. what we see is an effort to impeach the president and then an impeachment effort led by an impeachment czar who is not presiding as what a henry hyde or peter rodino. with nixon. peter say i have to do this fair and square and that's what i think is missing in the way adam schiff is conducting himself. >> we're waiting on the vote and they'll come back in the room shortly. >> a quick break and we'll be right back. it is nice.
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>> friday morning the first part of this hearing concluded. when we resume the republicans will have their opportunity for cross examination. already some eventful testimony thus far. welcome back to our coverage and i'm bill hemmer on this friday. >> good morning. thank you for being with us. i'm sandra smith. the witness ousted u.s. ambassador to ukraine marie yovanovitch. we have live fox team coverage this morning. andy mccarthy, ken starr, bret bare, chris wallace in washington and others here with us in new york city. we kick things off with senior
capitol hill producer chad perg gram ram. >> the republicans will come back with their 45 minutes of questions. there is a series of votes probably taking an hour or so including one vote on renewing the export/import bank. why they took the long break so members could leave the committee and vote on the house floor. when republicans come back, they have a big task ahead of them. i'll read you something that i got during the break here. it all involves this tweet which the president sent attacking marie yovanovitch and then adam schiff reading that into the record. this is what one senior republican source said to me a few minutes ago. we didn't need that. earlier this morning i talked to a democratic member of the committee who said he thought that republicans have to be careful in their line of questioning if they try to attack marie yovanovitch and the democrats said to me if they do that it won't look good. guess what. president trump did it for them?
how can republicans try to clean that up? it might be a challenge. something else that was said by adam schiff the chair of the intelligence committee, he indicated that this might be an attempt to intimidate the witness. when we look at the u.s. constitution and we look at article 2 section 4 it doesn't say anything about witness intimidation. talks about high crimes, misdemeanors, bribery, a theme we've heard. you can see potentially democrats could use that moment to try to tie that into an article of impeachment and something else very important this is the second day of these hearings here. we have not had a moment in the hearing on wednesday until this morning that kind of crystallized and emblem attic of the hearing. often have it in the hearings. so far that is that moment that crystallized moment that is emotion -- emblematic.
>> rudy giuliani releasing a statement. i'll read one paragraph here. the issues i raised against ambassador yovanovitch when not like schiff's witnesses but on direct evidence by five ukrainian officials and retired officials. their testimony is corroborated by additional evidence of wrongdoing. want to bring in dana perino and juan williams. get your first reaction since we got the vote with the break. >> because you just brought the rudy giuliani statement it makes me wonder if there will be additional pressure for him to come appeared testify. if he wants to be part of the hearing and releasing statements and says he has evidence contrary to what she has been saying i think that next week we have a witness list already. he is not on it. so i don't know if this is going to continue through to
december. we might actually have to be here all together enjoying these hearings for quite a while. i think the demand for him to testify will increase. i think what republicans might be doing right now is thinking okay, how do we go into this next 45 minutes handling the questions of the witness that a lot of people say she is credible and plain spoken, has years of direct experience? i thought she showed a diplomat's poise and grace and ability to answer questions in a way that doesn't get to what some of the questioners wanted which is what does she think the president's state of mind is? she refuses to say so even when the tweet is read in realtime. basically how does that make you feel? she said i -- i can't tell you what the president's state of mind is. i can't tell you he is trying to intimidate but i can tell you what the effect is. yes, i do feel that way. what the republicans might say the president is criticizing her work, he is not trying to intimidate her.
it might be ill time and ill mannered and bullying. he criticizes a lot of people. it isn't a court of law where you can introduce witness intimidation. it is a political hearing and the president is fighting for his political future. i think that's what the republicans might try toned on. they could try to ignore it. >> republicans believe there is some sort of kabol working against the president and often referred to that phrase the deep state. giuliani's statements. he says i do not believe the department interviewed any of the what he refers to as five ukrainian officials who could be retired at the moment who are and willing to testify against the ambassador. believe me, only an independent investigation will reveal the length and breadth of the deep state opposition to the president within the department of state. so that's their position. i don't know if they get to that here or if that comes next week. your impressions at the moment. >> you know, bill, to me there
was something to be taken from the entire direction of the questioning that came from adam schiff and daniel goldman, the counsel to the majority in the house intelligence committee. that is that we're going beyond the one phone call and what took place in the phone call between president trump and president zelensky. they are drawing a picture of a larger campaign that involved getting rid of ambassador and doing so because they felt she was interfering in their efforts to pursue a case and potentially the case was about ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. and then you hear the majority counsel goldman say to her, he puts it on the screen, here is vladimir putin, the president of russia, saying that in fact it was the ukrainians who interfered in the 2016 election. and asking her is there any evidence of that to which she
says she knows of none. but he then ties it into the attack on her, the smear campaign and again as you just said, rudy giuliani chimes in and suggests the entire state department is under the corrupt influence of people like george soros, for example and makes the case these people are part of a deep state out to attack the president. going into today's hearings, i think part of the republican thinking was let's bring this out. let's put this on the table. in the phone call between president trump and president zelensky. the president asked about crowd strike, asked about whether or not there was a server somewhere in the ukraine that could prove that in fact it wasn't the russians but the ukrainians. and what we heard from the lawyer, mr. goldman, was the suggestion that president putin wants that because he wants to create a different narrative that throws people off the idea that russia, as our
intelligence agencies have confirmed, was, in fact, the group that was interfering in that 201 election. at some point this plays out like an amazing novel. you can see different narratives at play. and in the middle of it you have this very experienced diplomat. i hear people say she is 33 years, she has had several controversial and difficult posts. but just sitting here watching on fox i must say she seems like a rather reserved, intelligent woman. and it strikes me that she is speaking for something larger than herself, which is a tremendous way to approach this. she is speaking for the idea of american diplomats and the state department. what a conflict between people would say the state department is part of the deep state and marie yovanovitch saying i'm here as a proud american trying to serve my country. >> thank you for that. chad per gram says the republicans will start with their lawyer steve castor to lead off.
see if that remains to be the case. >> the big question is what will the strategy be on the part of the gop when they return from the lengthy break? >> one thing that comes to mind listening to everyone talking about this, marie yovanovitch is a fine woman, obviously has served her country for a long time. the bottom line where you hear the gop go here. the president can have diplomats serve at his pleasure whether he wants them in that position or not. that is the bottom line. and the president recalled her. that's why the secretary of state mike pompeo was not able to support her. once the president of the united states says this isn't the person i want in that spot, that really is the end of that story. there are a lot of hurt feelings. she is talking about intimidation. she doesn't like the role that rudy giuliani played in all of this but at the end of the day that is the final say on that and i just one other thing with regard to rudy giuliani now speaking out in his own defense. one of the remaining questions here as he continues to be drawn into this, he feels he
has very solid sources for his story of the corruption that was going on in the ukraine and feels passionately about that. one thing to watch is whether or not the president will continue to stand by him or whether at some point the president says i didn't know how -- i didn't know the full extent of what rudy giuliani was doing. i just was sort of following his lead because he was so involved and he seemed to think this person needs to be removed. >> thank you for that. we're watching the hallways. lee zeldin stopped at the microphone. adam schiff spoke as well. there is zeldin speaking now. bret baier in washington, d.c. you were listening to schiff. what did you hear a moment ago? >> listen, we -- first to martha's point. the president has the decision. he can decide who he wants as ambassador. that's not an issue here. frankly, that could be where they hang their hat as this goes forward.
but as we said earlier, there was this moment and adam schiff addressed that in the hallway. listen. >> what we saw today is -- [inaudible] at least no good reason but we saw today witness intimidation in realtime by the president of the united states going after this dedicated, respected career public servant in an effort to not only chill her but chill others as they come forward. we take this kind of witness intimidation and obstruction very seriously. >> oats >> are -- -- it's not a court of law. it's a political process. by having the tweet and factoring into this hearing whether you say it is or not, witness intimidation or tampering, it sounds like adam
schiff is going to say that or is heading that way. so the president's tweet was a big part of this first part of the hearing. >> thank you for that. want to get in andy mccarthy. your view right now. reflect on this tweet or perhaps what giuliani is pumping out there at the moment. what do you think, andy? >> well, you know, look, i was never very impressed by the bribery case, which started out as a campaign finance and then it was extortion. it is hard to wrap your brain around the technicality of it which is why they've been groping for a theory. but impeachment ultimately is about abuse of power. if we can connect up everything that we've seen in the last few weeks, the reason the whistleblower was such an important witness to the democrats before they decided he wasn't is because they wanted to move or broaden the lens here from the trump/zelensky call and from
the narrow transaction they're talking about of bribery, to a broader depictment of abuse of power. and i think the effectiveness for them of ambassador yovanovitch today is that she takes them directly there. so when you listen to her a couple of things come to the fore. she seems like a very credible witness. bill, you and i talked about this a week ago. if they have information that indicates that she was undercutting or trying to undermine the president, they need to get that information out. if they don't, then she looks like someone who has been profoundly wronged here. and the other problem they have is if the president wanted to change his policy the president has absolute -- just like he can remove an ambassador, he can change american policy in ukraine. but you don't come away with any reason to think that if he had told marie yovanovitch as the ambassador this is the new
direction we're going in that she wouldn't have carried that out. so i don't see anything that has come out so far -- i know rudy is saying what he is saying on the sidelines but nothing is in the public record at this point that would cause anyone to question ambassador yovanovitch. and in the meantime what she describes is not only american policy but the state department as she put it in disarray. she talked about vacancies unfilled and talks about the way the president treated her and the example that that sets for the entire foreign service and how counterproductive that is to american policy and american national security. so what they are trying to do here and this goes back to my initial point that i really think this has always been more about wounding the president politically. i never thought the democrats thought they were going to be able to impeach and remove the president. but what they are now -- the
tapestry they're giving us today is american foreign policy being handled in a way that will have people shaking their heads. and i think the contradiction between yovanovitch, who looks like she is a model of carrying out u.s. policy, and then the president on the sidelines dropping these bombs into the middle of the hearing, is going to be very powerful for people unless the republicans come back with a counter narrative. i think that they opened the door for that at the end. if i had been schiff and goldman what i would have done is stopped the examination at the point where she responded to the president's tweet. i think that was the strongest period they had in the examination today and that was the time to stop. what he instead did was go into the question of ukraine's interference, if there was any, in the 2016 election.
and what ambassador yovanovitch basically said is she didn't really know. she wasn't aware. she is not knowledgeable about the facts. that gives the republicans at least something to come back at without having to attack her. so i think what you will probably hear is a lot of the information that we've been hearing that we heard two days ago about ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election that she won't really be able to contradict but will give them a story to tell without having to attack her. >> the house is still voting. they are still on a break. want to bring in chris wallace. perhaps that moment where the chairman, read the president's tweet in realtime and asked their witness, marie yovanovitch to respond. perhaps that is emerging as one of the big moments of the two-day public hearings. >> so far at least. we're relatively early in the process because it will be three more full days of testimony next week but so far
to the degree that there is a moment in these hearings it was that. and frankly it was one the president created. if he hadn't tweeted it, then there wouldn't have been the opportunity for adam schiff to ask yovanovitch. i'll pick up on something andy mccarthy just said. if republicans' argument is that the president has the right to remove an ambassador and they serve at the pleasure of the president, if that's the best they can do, i think they are in some trouble here. nobody disagrees that he had the right to remove yovanovitch and i can certainly make the argument that there was a new president of ukraine and you wanted a new team around her. that isn't the way this played out. as yovanovitch told it she is at a meeting at the residence at 10:00 at night and she is interrupted by a top state department official who says we can't protect you anymore, watch your back. i want to give you a heads-up. three hours later the secretary
general calls back and says you have to get on the next plane. that is not the regular way that you would say well, enough of this ambassador. we'll bring another one in. it seems to me the only way that republicans are going to be able to -- not to attack yovanovitch, because i think that would be politically a mistake but to undercut her. they need evidence. i don't know if the evidence is true from rudy giuliani. he says there were a number of instances where yovanovitch was not the pure anti-corruption fighter that she claims to have been. that she supported efforts by the democrats to -- with ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election. she was involved with george soros, undercutting the president. that maybe it wasn't a list that she gave to the prosecutor lutsenko but that there were names of people she didn't want prosecuted. i don't know if that's -- if
it's true and verifiable or not. but it seems to me the only way they will be able to undercut her if they present this and if she doesn't have good evidence to refute it. if they do that, then i think this becomes a very different matter. if they don't do it, then i think to a large degree her testimony goes unchallenged. just to give you one last sense of how political this is. people i'm sure have noticed that for weeks the democrats have been calling it a quid pro quo, now they're calling it bribery. it turns out that house democrats did a focus group literally a focus group like you have in a political campaign and presented a bunch of phrases to average americans, this focus group. what sounds worse, quid pro quo, extortion, bribery, the focus group said bribery and that's now what the democrats are calling it. >> everyone will stay with us. we're still in the break. the voting is happening on capitol hill. it should resume shortly.
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>> i would now ask the president to release the thousands of other records he has instructed the state department not to release. including ambassador taylor's notes, including ambassador taylor's cableened george kent's memo. why the military aid was withheld. >> chairman adam schiff toward the beginning of his statement a bit earlier today. there is a vote underway now on the floor of the house of representatives. we believe it will last another 25 minutes. so the hearing will not resume we don't believe until at least 11:45 east coast time. chris stewart from utah a member of the house intel committee. thank you for the moment you've spent with us. what do you think of the testimony so far, sir? >> there is not many surprises. i have to tell you there aren't going to be very many surprises. we've already heard from these
witnesses. we have their testimony. five, six, eight hours in some cases. i'm glad the american people get to finally hear it. the american people get to listen and make their observation. i really believe this and sincere when i say it. i think at the end of this process the support for impeachment is going to go down. not up. i think most americans listen to this and they think i just don't believe it reaches a level where they think they want to remove the president of the united states. >> are you suggesting she was not a sympathetic witness or her story wasn't credible? what are you driving at? >> not at all. i think she was very sympathetic and her story was very credible. it doesn't relate at all to the impeachment inquiry. she left her post a month before any incidents regarding impeachment even occurred. she indicated the president had said they were thinking of asking her to be reassigned more than a year before. so although it's unfortunate
this story that this happened to her it doesn't have any relevance at all on the central question of the impeachment. >> two more questions on that. when the president did a live tweet during her testimony she suggested it was some sort of intimidation tactic. should he have done that? did you agree with that, sir? >> i have to tell you i don't think she is intimidated at all by this. it would be insulting to suggest she would be. she is a professional, a strong individual. i think she has been -- she has faced many more challenges in her life than a tweet. the president communicates in a different way than i and others would. i don't think it's surprising. >> there is a suggestion he is giving adam schiff and others more ammunition. you clearly don't see it that way. >> well actually i understand that view, as i said. this president communicates in ways that i probably wouldn't. at least he does sometimes. but i've had it suggested to me
again and again she is intimidated by this. i think that's nonsense. she is clearly capable of standing up for herself. >> what should we expect when the republicans literally have the gavel in a moment? what does cross examination look like? >> thanks for asking that question. if we were to end the hearing here people would say that's a great win for the democrats. the republicans haven't been able to tell our store ear at all yet. we get that opportunity and at the end of the day we'll learn a couple of things. one, she has no involvement at all in the core questions of the impeachment accusations against the president. she left the ukraine months before any of that happened and i think there will be other mitigating facts that will come out. take her testimony, soften it a little bit and give it context we realize once again it isn't going to compel people to think this president should be removed from office. >> i know you have to run here and i appreciate the time. want to question you a little more. you indicated there will be
other factors such as what that are about to be revealed? >> well, it would take our 45 minutes. you have to watch. there are things relevant to this that will certainly come out over the course of the afternoon. >> thank you so much for stopping by here. appreciate your time there. the republican on the committee from utah. we're waiting for the hearing to resume there. thank you, sir. over to sandra. >> bring back ken starr joining us now. if you could, ken, tell us about the strategy on the part of republicans when the break is over and lawmakers reenter this room based on what just happened with the president and the reading of that tweet in realtime and having the witness react. >> i would rise above the tweet, ignore it. it won't go away. but there is no way to put lipstick on this situation. get that behind us. what i think we have more broadly here is the adam schiff
roving commission. he is on a seek and find mission, right? focus groups, as chris said before. can you imagine in an impeachment process focus grouping the question is this going to play in peoria? the founders must be spinning in their graves. two points. abuse of power. we may be hearing more about that. the smear campaign, the way in which she was removed, etc. the back biting, the rudy giuliani narrative as we've heard it from the democratic side. i will simply say abuse of power, yes it's there as oh potential tool to use, as a pot edges rationale but it is very hard for members of congress to get ahold of that and say exactly what do you mean by that? and we saw that play out very briefly in the clinton impeachment process. read the referral to the house
of representatives. it was chalk full of examples of abuse of power by president clinton and those reporting to him. it just didn't work. you need something i think at the political level. we're not in a court of law. we're in the court of public opinion that you would say i understand that. it's the body on the docks, cold, dead, we can understand that. in the roving commission do we now have that chairman schiff is employing do we now have intimidation of witnesses? i don't think so. the president coming forth with an ill-timed and ill-conceived tweet is not as representative stewart said it won't intimidate anyone. it is out in public view. there is no threat against the family and so forth. andy can correct me on this. i understand intimidation of witnesses is a very serious thing. this is not that. i don't think it is even close to it.
now the final thing is you, mr. president, were obstructing this investigation. we heard that from adam schiff and hearing it from him every day we're hearing you are obstructing and the president once again walked into it by another revelation, here is a release. but i released that which i want to. i think that's very poorly informed strategy. >> ken starr, thank you for that. speaking of the court of public opinion just watching the markets here oftentimes we gauge to try to see how the rest of the country is reacting. we're up 164 points. looking at the possibility of dow 28,000 in the middle of all this hearing. it's only day two. there are three days of hearings already on the books for next week. tuesday, wednesday and thursday. up to eight witnesses will appear then. for the moment it is marie yovanovitch. she will be back in that room, we believe, at noon eastern time. still voting on the floor of
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>> democrats have been vowing to oust president trump since the day he was elected so americans with rightly suspect his phone call with president zelensky was used as an excuse for the democrats to fulfill their watergate fantasies. >> sandra: let's bring in now congressman from california eric swalwell, a house intelligence committee member joining us now. good morning to you. what do you want to tell us about what we have seen and heard so far in that hearing room? >> we have heard from an
anti-corruption ambassador who was removed because the president had a corrupt intent to put in place someone who would not fight corruption but actually weaponize corruption on his behalf. if there was any question about the corrupt intent of the president all questions were answered when the president smeared her during her testimony. he smeared her when she was in ukraine, smeared her on the folk when he spoke with the president of ukraine and smeared her while testified. this president continues to act guilty. >> sandra: we'll hear the republican response to that in a moment. when you hear from nunes the ranking member on the committee will be able to question the witness along with their representation. how do you expect the hearing to go forward from here after you look back at that moment where the chairman of the committee decided to read that presidential tweet live on television in the hearing room and have the witness respond? >> well, i'm sorry she had to read it that way but it was
important that she know what the president was saying. i think it will say a lot about ranking member nunes if he used some of his time to assure the witness that he is not going to allow her to be intimidated and that neither side will allow that. i saw some republican members say they thought it was inappropriate. we need to really link arms here and say you don't do that to witnesses as they come before congress. >> sandra: lee zeldin, the republican in the house who was watching all of this and he stepped out to a camera during the break and he said that democrats wanted to recreate what happened in the deposition because he was there. he said they wanted to make her cry for the cameras. we were listening to the counsel there question her on many occasions how she felt about certain circumstances and situations. lee zeldin defended the president in what he did. saying this was not intimidation of a witness.
he is just defending himself. what do you say to that? >> well, we wanted the world to see that if he wanted to fight corruption in ukraine you would have kept an ambassador who had a reputation for fighting corruption but that's not what the president's interest was. his interest was to clear the deck so he could put in his own corrupt scheme. what congressman zeldin said i don't know how else you would interpret a president smearing a witness coming before congress to put out baseless evidence about her record as an ambassador. it is designed to intimidate and show other witnesses this is what you get when you testify against me. i'll tweet to my 60 million followers that you are -- he will tweet the baseless claims against you to damage your reputation. that's what he is trying to do. i don't think it will work, frankly. these people have defied him. they've defied his lawless
orders to not show up. they're doing the right thing. >> sandra: the question will still be as a hearing continues and many more next week, whether or not your party, democrats, were pushing for this, are building their case against the president. did that happen in that hearing room this morning, final thoughts. >> yes. you can fire people for almost any good reason but you can't fire them for a corrupt reason. here you heard evidence that she was only fired for the president's corrupt intent. >> sandra: that will be questioned for sure in that hearing room in a few moments. we appreciate your time this morning, congressman. thank you. >> bill: one thing that is obviously rather clear to all of us from the outset is how two people can look at this in two entirely different ways. martha mack column -- maccallum. the republican was having none of that. he suggested that that's not relevant here. >> we keep saying this.
it is so reflective of the political divide in the country and it doesn't seem like anything we've heard today as compelling as some of this was, is moving the needle in terms of the way that each side is dug in how they feel about this. to sandra's question to consciousman swalwell has anything moved the ball forward in terms of the latest charge which the bribery, whether or not the president was bribing, withholding military aid in order to get what he wanted, an investigation into joe biden. that's really the core of what is at stake here. the other thing i just want to mention is that when we come back and do start to hear from the gop side of the fence here it will be relevant to look back at what she said in her opening statement about some of the things that they i would expect are about to press her on. she said i never said that president trump's orders should be ignored. i did not and i would not say such things. she said the obama
administration did not ask me to help clinton or hurt trump. that behavior is simply not compatible with diplomatic work. she didn't know and never met hunter biden and joe biden never advocated on behalf of burisma and rudy giuliani should have known the claims being made by the people he was talking to in ukraine were suspect. she claimed that they wanted economic benefit that the anti-corruption campaign would hinder. so i'm looking for her to sort of bolster some of those statements and these gop representatives as they question her will try to poke holes in them i would expect. >> bill: excellent points. we're on stand by for the hearing to continue. it will resume in a matter of moments. let's get a commercial break. a moment ago the ambassador before adam schiff. >> with respect to mayor giuliani, i have had only minimal contact with him a total of three. none related to the events at
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call today. we'll send you a $10 visa reward card with no obligation to enroll. or visit us online at aetnamedicare.com/tv. >> sandra: breaking news right now. we understand that there is a verdict reached in the trial of roger stone. we're live outside in washington what more can you tell us, david? >> sandra, there are seven counts here. we know the first two counts roger stone has been found guilty. this just from the verdict. our producer jake gibson in the courtroom. the jury came in about five minutes ago said they had a verdict. they've been debating for two days on this. this is the second day of deliberations here but we know count one and two guilty. seven counts. we'll continue to follow up.
count one is obstruction of proceedings and then count two deals with making false statements in front of congress. we'll continue to follow this. count one and two for roger stone guilty. seven counts total. anymore we'll bring it to you in a moment. >> sandra: david outside the verdict. guilty on count one and two. seven counts in total. count one obstructing a congressional investigation. count 2-6 making false statements to congress. if you could react to what we're learning so far here. >> the important thing to remember about roger stone's case is that although he was investigated in connection with the question whether there was a collusion-type criminal conspiracy and that he was complicit in it. that is not what he was ever charged with even though that was the narrative which his case was framed for us. so these charges against him
are solely about obstructing the investigations that took place that he was brought in to testify in the congressional investigation and i also believe mueller's investigation as well. but the point to stress here, his conviction is not a suggestion that there actually was a collusion conspiracy, it is yet again another conviction that comes out of interfering with the investigation of that claim but not the claim itself. >> bill: you can add more to it. guilty on all counts is what's coming in now. originally accused of lying to congress with attempts of communicating with wikileaks. tampering with witnesses. hampering a congressal investigation. stand by, back to david outside the courthouse. >> roger stone is guilty on all counts. all seven counts. we just got that word from inside the courtroom.
roger stone guilty on all counts. we're talking about witness tampering, lying to congress, making false statements in front of congress. the jury came in five or six minutes ago. the foreman announced they had a verdict. not clear if roger stone will be taken into culls -- custody today. likely there be will sentencing that will happen down the line. that could be something that could happen earlier in the year. we're told roger stone's attorneys will be appealing this. they are saying they'll be appealing this. right now we can tell you counts 1-7 which include making false statements in front of congress, also witness tampering guilty on all counts. back to you, bill. >> bill: thank you. essentially lying and found guilty. david, thank you. >> found guilty also absolutely witness tampering.
>> bill: david, stand by at the courthouse. >> sandra: andy mccarthy with us. if you could react now that all seven counts are in, found guilty on all seven. >> frankly, i think this was a slam dunk case on stone all along in terms of the obstruction. some of the witness intimidation was in texts that were fairly explicit as i recall it. it didn't seem like he would have much of a plausible defense on that and the fact that he didn't testify at the trial may have been some indication that he recognized the strength of the evidence against him and didn't want to take the step of potentially giving testimony that would cause the judge to increase his sentence under the sentencing guidelines which they can do if you are likely to be convicted and you give testimony that the court decides goes crossways from what the facts show. >> bill: you are saying it's no surprise. >> it was a pretty straight
forward case. once you take the collusion part of it. as far as the country was concerned the collusion part was the important part, the interference in the investigation was, of course, important and significant but more significant the stone. it always looked like a very strong case on that part of it. >> bill: would you expect an appeal? >> they always appeal. they have a constitutional right to appeal. i wouldn't expect an appeal that would succeed. >> bill: andy, thank you. dana perino, reaction in new york. >> i defer to the legal expertise of andy mccarthy. one thing that happened this week. the trial was pretty quick. they did not put roger stone on the witness stand and i think that was probably for a reason. because maybe they expected this result. and i think also the other thing that's going the happen out of this. there might be an appeal but roger stone has been very clear he has been out doing
fundraising appeals. not easy to try to fund a legal defense and he has been having to have a legal defense for quite a long time to go into an appeal now he has to redouble his efforts. there weren't a lot of people in the last week that were coming to his defense even in the court of public opinion. regardless what was happening inside the courtroom. not a man with many friends at the moment. being found guilty this quickly. the jury turned this around very fast. it's a friday. jurors often like to go home after -- so they don't have to come back after a weekend. so the fact that it turned around that quickly i think that guilty on all seven counts was to be expected. >> sandra: chris wallace with us. roger stone faces a maximum prison term of 50 years. he would likely be sentenced in step with federal guidelines
that typically call for a much more lenient punishment for first time offenders. your reaction, chris? >> first of all, i want to pick up what dana perino said he didn't have many friends. a lot of people who were in the trump campaign had to testify against him. had to testify. they were subpoenaed. steve bannon, the campaign chairman, starting in august of 2016 testified against him, rick gates who actually turned states witness. he was a top aide to paul manafort during the trump campaign earlier. we ought to talk a little bit about who roger stone is. he was a major political consultant, operative going back to the reagan administration. and also to the bush 41 administration. a key player quite close to richard nixon and in fact i believe he still has a huge tattoo of rich and nixon across
his back. at a certain point he became somewhat eccentric figure of him walking in and out of court. he would wear a derby, he would wear these very fancy double breasted suits. he was quite close and really a political adviseor to donald trump. they split up in 2015. president trump, then candidate trump had a break with stone and then took on corey lewandowski as his campaign manager. stone was always involved on the margins of the trump campaign. and in the report, the mueller report there were questions about the president talking to roger stone at various points in the campaign. one of the key issues here is that stone claimed to have some access to wikileaks and that he had advance information about wikileaks access to hacked emails from the democratic
national committee, from podesta. there was a question, one of the issues in the whole trial is everybody seemed to be a liar and, you know, who was lying to whom and were they telling the truth in their testimony? were they telling their truth in the various claims they made to build up their standing in the trump campaign? obviously the jury has come to a conclusion he broke federal law and lied. >> sandra: guilty on all seven counts. sentencing set thursday, february 6 at 10:00 a.m. the breaking news this morning. more on the other side of this break. stay tuned. we'll be right back. look around. see what our kids see. before they get to the safety of home. futures vanish. [dog barking] there is a cure, if you will help. boys and girls clubs of america don't just shape lives, they do whatever it takes to save lives. sensitive young lives with nowhere else to go,
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>> bill: welcome back to continuing coverage. and bret baier in washington come along; come martha maccallum. we are following the impeachment inquiry come but first, breaking news. roger stone, former trump confidant and associate convicted on all seven counts, and now faces jail time. we don't know if there will be an appeal or not, but mr. stone is the sixth associate of mr. trump to be convicted on charges stemming from former special counsel robert mueller's investigation. his defense argued that this was all about going after the small fish, because mueller didn't get the big fish. they also lead with that stone was a serial exaggerator